The Saturday Oreo #5: Making Good Art

This is based off of Shelumiel at Bookish & Awesome’s Copying Is Not Always A Bad Thing, and Neil Gaiman’s speech to 2012 graduates from the University of the arts in Philadeplhia, which is a great listen for creators in all types of artistic  endeavours.

Shelumiel’s concluding prompt of this lovely discussion was, “Who are your influences?” in regards to finding your voice in your creative process. Looks like I’m about to get real with you, today.

This blog, in itself, is an art project. I do have a few—precisely five, if we’re going to be real—favorite blogs, and although I do like their style, I do not take from them. I couldn’t compare myself to them, nor would I, because I’m just winging this thing. I have no idea what I’m doing, and that is okay. The point of this project is to create, simply enough. It is like a blank canvas which as the time passes has more layers added to it to make the overall creation. This is my voice sending ripples into a small pond. The entire point, and I’ll say itagain, is to keep on creating, writing what I fear to write; breaking the barriers in my mind of what I think I cannot do. “We must do what we think we cannot.”-Eleanor Roosevelt.

I went into this not knowing the rules of what the successful have deemed as the rules. Because as Gaiman said, the rules will keep you from doing something because you know there is a limit. But if you do not know the rules, then there is no limit until you find your own limit (not a direct quotation). I do not start an abstract work knowing how it will end; I start it knowing I want to scream something. I do not buy a t-shirt because I think my friends will find it charming because in the end…the thoughts of other people are screams into a void. Nothing they say or think will ever be able to dictate what you become unless you decide it is so. That is the power we have. One does not go to an art museum because it will sound deep when one recounts their day or to look at pretty things, one goes to find a personal meaning in another;’s creation. To widen their perspective on what they have already known.

So if I’m wondering how I should adjust something or what platform I should create something, I’ll ask, I’ll look it up. The purpose of this, though, is to explore ity for myself, find my own truths, and my own rules, whatever those may be.

The purpose is to make good art. I was stressed out, I needed a new project so I made one. In Neil Gaiman’s speech, he says that when things go wrong (and even when they’re going right), you should make good art, make up your own rules, break some of them; and don’t accept projects or offers that have prestige that will lead you away from your creative goals. This is powerful, and something I needed to hear.

I feel like lately I have forgotten where I came from, so to speak. My mind—for a few seconds—started to slowly wander to others’ views of success when it comes to blogging; and so Miel’s post and Gaiman’s speech were quite timely. They reminded me of the purpose of the site you are staring at right now.

I do not make posts thinking of whether you’ll like them, or even view them..and I don’t want to. Because I may not immediately, or even months from now, even years from now have the vision of blogging “success”, but like Gaiman said at least I have the work. And like Sylvia Plath once said, the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. I am jubilant when you find a positive interpretation in the work, surely being a human, when you comment your witty comments, your overwhelmingly nice comments, when you visit silently before moving on with your day, and when you like….but that’s beside the point of creating these posts. The point of this project is to grow, embrace fears and make. good. art. And as the artist, that should never change.

Here are some of my top favorites, and why:

  • Epic Reads: I find most of my greatest reads here, I enjoy their videos, interaction and creative lists.
  • Paper Fury: The originality after four years is astounding. I love the original voice, content, and humor of this blog.
  • Thoughts and Afterthoughts: The humor and intelligence in these posts and the RANTS/DISCUSSIONS make my day every time I read a new post. (I say I love this blog all the time, so is it really a surprise that it’s on the list?)
  • Deadly Darlings: The voice of the main creator (Aimee) is YES, along with the discussion posts from Aimee, her co-blogger CJ, and any post really from her co-blogger Sara.
  • Bookish and Awesome: I’m a sucker for good art. Enough said. 

8 thoughts on “The Saturday Oreo #5: Making Good Art

  1. I like the amount of thought you put into this post. We all falter at some point when it comes to blogging and I definitely have. I used to question the validity and voice of my posts but I’ve gotten so much better about it. Wesaun, I think your posts are extremely distinctive. The way you write is how I imagine you speak. I think it’s interesting that you created your blog as a method to further express yourself even more than you do (and I predict that you express yourself a ton through the amount of art I think you do). I’ve noticed that a lot of the “blogging tips” that people on some big blogs include finding what your audience likes and curating your posts to that. But honestly, I find that as great as that is, sometimes it’s even better to just write what you want! So yes, I love the thought you have in this post and hope that you find your roots again! (God I hope I don’t sound too condescending when I said that last sentence >.<)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First and foremost: you are too kind, my sweet corn numero deux.

    But yeah every blogger alive is secretly winging it; a constant game of trial and error, really. Whoever has it “down pat” is lying. Unless they’re a wizard–then I obviously cannot contest.

    Isn’t “good art” everywhere though? If it’s done with intent–even if it’s the most unabashed and off-putting expression available–it’s still wholly them, wholly representative, and wholly “good”. Well, at least, I can’t control how people do what they please. Hell, I only write all these posts because it has to be done. It just happens.

    Though I guess the takeaway (one of many) is that expressions form other expressions–art into other art–and so this is why I’m now a driver of speaking to other people because it does spark creativity and inspiration. I had to say this first because it ties into the idea that you can vocalize yourself (for yourself) but it’s still widely possible to go about it with a certain frame of opening a voice they may never not considered.

    tl;dr- don’t roast marshmallows in your oven. you’ll get a burn scar.

    Joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts


    • HA, I swear your goal in life is to either a.make me think or b.confuse me, and that’s a rather interesting quality you have. Not a bad thing, just an observation. Yes, you can say that all art is good art. There is no wrong way to create. There are the standards of others that they may say, “Oh, that’s not really good.” But it’s all in interpretation, there is no one way to create. There is no GOOD way. There is no BAD way. There is only YOUR way. I feel that people always try SO hard to have a set way of things that they think everyone should follow for the sake of “order”, or something. But no, this is all just fluid, there should never be a decided set way of things I feel ESPECIALLY in a place of free expression. Then what is the point of calling it “free expression”, like just because I want to write about the Halsey album doesn’t make it a music blog. Like. I can match a couple songs to books and make it a BOOK thing…but if I don’t WANT to, then it shouldn’t make it any less of a book blog. I hate when people are so determined to make something set, and be all “No, it’s this way.” I feel those people need to chill, and let things just BE. I really like your comment.

      LOL that tl;dr was just so random, and I love it. I’ve only ever roasted marshmallows over an actual fire. Thanks for stopping by!!!


  3. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    OMG YOU SAY SUCH NICE THINGS ABOUT ME AND I JUST WILL NEED TO FLOP ON THE FLOOR IN HAPPY TEARS RIGHT NOW. (Although, tbh, I’ve only been book blogging for 2 years. But the fact that you think my posts are creative is afjdklsafds endlessly wonderful.) SO YES. I LIKE THIS POST. I think it’s very important to just create art and dash the rules and do it firstly for yourself. I want to make good art. I’m endlessly pleased when people enjoy what I do, and it motivates me to keep going, but I LIKE GOOD ART JUST FOR ME TOO. *nods*

    Liked by 1 person

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